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Taylor gets supplement

By Steve Herring
Published in News on July 10, 2012 1:46 PM

Dr. Steven Taylor

The Wayne County Board of Education Monday for the second year in a row split 5-2 on approving a $6,500 supplement for Superintendent Dr. Steven Taylor.

And as was the case last year, the two no votes were cast by board members Arnold Flowers and Len Henderson, neither of whom commented on their votes.

The vote did not involve an extension to Taylor's contract. According to school system spokesman Ken Derksen, Taylor opted to not request a one-year extension. Taylor, who has served as superintendent since 2000, has three years remaining on his current four-year contract. His annual base salary is $184,818.60.

The "evaluative supplement" was not on the initial agenda, but was added when the board returned to open session after almost two hours in closed session. The closed session had been called for several items including personnel evaluation.

Board member Rick Pridgen said the evaluation is called for every year. However, it does not require a supplement, he said.

"I would like to point out a few things about this past year," he said. "We are still continuing to be, Wayne County schools, one of the top systems in the state of North Carolina for its size. We have not dismissed teachers this past year due to budget cuts as other surrounding school systems have. We have been recognized as a leader in STEM education. We continue to look to find funds for STEM projects.

"We continue to have our early/middle college have a 100 percent graduation rate, which is recognized by the governor and the state of North Carolina each year."

Pridgen said that Taylor continues to be recognized as one of the top school superintendents in the state.

Taylor also has continued to serve on local boards where he is an advocate for the schools, Pridgen said.

"He sees the importance of jump-starting a young child in education so they will have a better academic situation," he said.

Pridgen also praised Taylor for maintaining a "great relationship" with Mount Olive College and Wayne Community College.

"I think he does an admirable job as the CEO of the second-largest business in Wayne County," he said. "I think with the evaluation that we have had this year that I would recommend, and put a motion before this board, that we extend his supplement to the maximum of $6,500."

The motion was seconded by Thelma Smith, and Chairman Eddie Radford called for a show of hands instead of a voice vote.

Mrs. Smith thanked Pridgen for the reminders of how well the system had done over the past year under Taylor's leadership.

"We can nit-pick all that we want to -- this thing or that thing," she said. "We like to nit-pick at stuff, but we need to give praises and accolades to those people who do a good job and Steve Taylor, you do a good job. I don't care what anybody else says. You are not perfect by no means, but we need to give you your due."

Taylor thanked those who voted for the supplement for their support. He also had praise for the teachers, principals and school staff.

He said that with more than 19,000 students, their parents and many interested community members, it is a difficult job to please everyone.

And, as he pointed out, he has seven bosses on the school board.